Posts Tagged Fitness
I'm thrilled to share the story of an inspiring woman who has set a goal to #moveitorloseit for all the right reasons. Check out our interview below to see why my RD colleague and Twitter friend, 37 year-old Alexandra Lautenschlaeger (@alexikscott) from Spartanberg, South Carolina and Frankfurt, Germany is the #moveitorloseit Model of the Month for February:
What is your fitness goal and why did you decide to tackle it at this point in your life?
My goal was to finally relieve myself of grief from losing my fiancé four years ago from complications with diabetes. I did not treat my body well and gained weight and went on blood pressure medication. As a dietitian, I felt like a failure. In 2011, I started keeping track of my exercise, but that only helped me maintain my weight. Finally I decided that I wanted to take up running to get my body back in shape and shed some weight. I chose a training program on the RunKeeper app to do a sub 65 minute 10K.
Are you planning to run the 10K solo or with others?
I have a “team” on my RunKeeper App, but I found a friend and dietitian who also wanted to do achieve the same goal. We decided our goal this year was to join a running training program. The partnership and the program help me stay accountable. I run solo, but it is nice to know that the App and my friend are great reminders to keep at it and stay focused.
What does your weekly workout routine look like?
According to the App program, I run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sunday with a long run. Eventually I will do intervals to increase the length of time and speed at which I run.
Have you experienced or do you anticipate any obstacles that will challenge you while training (and how have you/what will you do to overcome them)?
I was laid off from my previous job, which was an hour commute each way. Now that I am in a new job, and while it’s a 45-minute commute, I now have 30 minutes extra to get to the things I need to do and fit fitness into my plan. My new year’s resolution was to be happy and good to myself, so no matter what, I will make this work. There may be times I run slow, but I think, “at least I am doing it no matter how much it hurts.”
How does exercise/fitness/physical activity make you feel? What's in it for you?
Besides the fact that my training will help me stop gaining weight (and may even help me lose some), it gives me instant gratification and it helps relieves some of the stress under which I have lived for far too long. I have noticed small results already and most of all, am so happy that I am sleeping so much better.
What would you say to inspire others to set a fitness goal or simply become a regular exerciser?
Fitness can become a way of life, but you have to start small. So many people join the gym at the beginning of the New Year and overdo it in the beginning and then fall off the wagon soon after. I am very impatient, so it was a challenge for me to pace myself. We all want results yesterday, so it is important to set a good pace that will allow you to continue. It is not always pretty, but exercising and having a great goal, whatever that is, really does make you feel so much better.
If you'd like to be my #moveitorloseit Model of the Month (or would like to nominate someone who inspires you), email me at email@example.com to comment
"If you're like most Americans who want to stay fit and active, there's a good chance that if you haven't already (or recently) joined a gym, the thought has likely crossed your mind—especially as the new year approaches." Read more of my blog post for US News & World Report's Eat + Run.
In this monthly post, I highlight one person who embodies the concept of #moveitorloseit --a concept I share proudly on both Twitter and Facebook. To me, #moveitorloseit is not at all about moving it in order to lose weight…it’s about staying active and fit consistently, regularly, and enjoyably to stay sane and centered despite—and in the face of—the curve balls life throws you. It's about not wasting the ability to use your body, and about strengthening (or at least preserving) your muscles and bones, and at the same time, keeping your mind sharp.
In November, 2012, my #moveitorloseit model was 40 year-old Aaron Flores, an LA-based registered dietitian. Read on to see what Aaron’s #moveitorloseit fitness goal was and how he planned to accomplish it--and then see what he has to say now, after meeting his goal!
What is your specific #moveitorloseit goal, and when do you plan to accomplish it?
My #Moveitorloseit goal is to run the 2013 LA Marathon. It’s my first ever marathon, and I would love to finish in under 5 hours if possible. I run/walk and try to stay at a pace of about 11:00 minutes per mile. In the end, I know I'll be happy to just finish!
Why did you choose this particular challenge? What will it mean to you to complete the marathon?
Why did I choose to do a marathon? Maybe it's because I just turned 40. I felt the need to challenge myself. I completed a 100-mile bike ride almost 10 years ago, and that experience taught me that I respond very well to challenges. I also know that staying motivated to exercise on a regular basis is difficult for me.
Having struggled with weight for all of my adult life, I understand how important it is for me to stay active. But to be honest, I get bored unless I change my routine every couple of years. So my latest change came in 2011 when I started running. I found that I really enjoyed it. I ran a couple of 10Ks that year, but never anything longer. I've also always been fascinated, inspired and in awe of anyone who ran a marathon. In my head it's always been the holy grail of races. I used to sit alongside the LA Marathon route and literally be in tears watching people run the race. I was so amazed and inspired that the participants could challenge themselves both physically and mentally.
So it was almost a perfect storm that took place: I'd been running and enjoying it, I've always loved the idea of doing a marathon, I needed a new challenge, and I was turning 40. So after watching the 2012 LA Marathon, I said to my wife, "I'm going to run the 2013 Marathon next year," and hear I am!
Have there been any bumps in the road so far? What has made training difficult or challenging, and what (or who) helps you stay motivated to continue?
The hardest part of my training so far is that I've had some issues with tendonitis in my feet and a sprained ankle that laid me up for about three weeks. It was early enough in my training that I knew that if I just kept my endurance up, I'd be OK. So I dusted off my bike and started riding again which really helped. I forgot how much I love riding!
The other challenge that always comes up is self doubt. I doubt myself every night before my long run of the week. I think, "Can I really run 10 miles tomorrow?" But in those moments, what I try to do is remember that my real goal is not just the marathon. It's something bigger than that. I'm trying to enjoy the process of training and not just the end goal. I try to remember that 15 years ago, at 300 lbs, I could not have run a quarter mile and now I can run ten! That’s amazing right there! I remember that exercising helps reduce my stress, it makes me a better man, father, employee. It's not about the calories that I burn, it's about the way moving makes me feel.
What really keeps me going though is the image I have of myself crossing the finish line. I'm sure there will be a few tears of joy shed on that day.
What advice do you have for others thinking of running their first marathon?
Well since I'm a dietitian, I of course would stress good nutrition. Beyond that, my advice would be to turn off that voice in your head that says, "I can't!" If you continue to doubt yourself, you'll end up believing it. I believe in the power of positive thinking and if you are going to run a marathon, you have to be positive. The other thing that keeps me going is to remember that my goal is to finish. Not to win but to finish. It's not about the time I clock; it’s about the journey.
Congrats on your first marathon!! Describe your marathon experience and what it taught you.
"I can finally say, "I did it!" After months of training, miles of running and many early mornings, I can now say I am a marathoner. Finishing the LA Marathon was something that I thought would literally never happen. I've been asked what was the hardest part of the Marathon and I have to say it wasn't any specific mile or event on the day of the run. The hardest part was the self-doubt before. I honestly never thought that I could complete the run as I was training. It was not until the morning of the race that I really knew that no matter what, I was going to cross that finish line. I wish I was faster, but I was not. I hoped for a better performance but it was not meant to be. But despite that, I had a smile as I ran across the finish line. Even two weeks later, I am still amazed at what I've done. I am in awe of what I have accomplished and it all seems like a dream. But this is not a dream. I am a marathon finisher and only because I committed to the journey. It is a choice I made. I chose to Move It so I won't Lose It! If I can do it, so can you."
Inspired by Aaron? How could you not be?! If you’d like to share your journey towards fitness and be a future #moveitorloseit Model of the Month, please email me your story (with a photo of yourself doing the activity/activities) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What inspires you to #moveitorloseit ?click to comment
Do you or your kids have a burning food, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle or all around silly question for Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson and current Olympic hopefuls? 20 of your questions will be answered by several amazing, inspiring athletes during the Summer Olympics.
As part of P&G's "Thank you, Mom" campaign, Shawn and the other athletes want to tell you what you really really want to know, so please--post your questions* below!
*Feel free to ask Shawn a question, OR post a generic question to any of the athletes.
Disclosure: No goods or services were accepted in exchange for this post.click to comment
Here's a recap of my experience crossing the finish line (with a little help from my friends) at the More/Fitness Half Marathon this past April.click to comment
As I approach the finish line of training to walk the More/Fitness Half Marathon on April 15, 2012, I have thought a lot about why it is I’m so motivated to move. In one post on More.com, I talked about how friends, especially those who struggle with health issues, motivated me to fully take advantage of the ability to move. In a more recent More.com post, I described how I was born to move. I truly enjoy exercising, and setting goals—even if they’re not triathlons or marathons—to stay fit along the way.
We all have motivational setbacks. Having a cold, being sidelined by injury, feeling down-in-the-dumps, and just having so much on our plate can certainly take their toll on our motivation levels. I have always told clients that if I could bottle up motivation—which I naturally have a lot of—I’d be a gazillionaire. Motivation is not something you can really teach. But I’d argue it's something that can be spread and soaked in.
I turned to some favorite fitness pros to see what keeps them motivated to move, and to find out how they inspire their clients to move as well. Here’s what they had to say:
Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia, registered dietitian, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, finds that putting on a pair of headphones, cranking up the music and tuning everything else out always motivates him to workout. He adds, “I also find that having a workout partner is also a good motivator because he or she will pump me up when I don't feel like fitting my workout in. And I know I do the same for them.”
When asked how he keeps his clients motivated, White says, “I keep my energy level especially high, keep the conversation light, and hand them a pair of weights. Before they know it they are halfway through a workout.”
I can attest to the fact that White is an amazing motivator—I had the unique and wonderful opportunity to do his 30-minute sunrise boot camp in Prague at a conference a few weeks ago and had the best time!
Vonda Wright, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based orthopedic surgeon and author of Guide to Thrive and Fitness After 40, views exercise as an investment in her future. “I reward my efforts with small non-food prizes—that way, I associate exercise with pleasure and not pain,” she says. When her patients lose their motivation, she encourages them to do the same to keep up with their efforts.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Heather Frey, owner, founder and President of SmashFit.com, a personal trainer and fitness matching website on the internet, likes that she can physically see all of her hard work pay off. She often reminds herself that she was once on “the other side”—sad and struggling—and that staying fit makes her never want to live there again.
When her clients’ motivation begins to dip, Frey asks them, “Do you really want to start all over again? Back to feeling sad, frustrated with that uphill climb? Or stay where you are and move forward?”
Cait Morth, an NSCA certified personal trainer, says knowing her family's medical history keeps her motivated. "If I've been stressed out for a while and see that my diet and exercise has suffered as a result, thinking about "heart disease" and "type 2 diabetes" scare me off my couch and out for a run," she says. Morth adds, "I use the same tactic with my clients. When they feel as though things are tough for them, I remind them why they asked for help in the first place. Everyone needs a sponsor to guide them back on track."
Jeff Halevy, CEO of Halevy Life, knows just how bad things can get—mentally and physically—when exercise isn't a part of daily life. When he sees a clients’ motivation wanes, he asks them to take a week off. “I know it seems counter-intuitive, but 99 percent of the time they come back not only motivated, but charged up and ready to go!”
What helps you stay motivated to move? When your motivation dips, what helps you get back on track?
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6 weeks to go until the More/Fitness Half Marathon! See how I'm faring on more.com.click to comment
We're all so busy this time of year! Between running errands, buying (or making) holiday gifts, cooking, cleaning and getting ready for some much-needed time off, many of us burn the candle at both ends. Fitting in our usual fitness routines, or making a first (or twentieth) attempt to once and for all get fit is certainly a challenge, and something many of us put off until the New Year begins. But why put off until tomorrow what we can do today? My dad always told me to never procrastinate (perhaps that's why I am such a planner--sometimes to a fault). In an effort to help myself and inspire and motivate you to get or stay moving this December, I've decided to create a December Fitness Challenge. On Twitter and on Facebook, I'll use #doitindecember to chronicle my own daily workouts and let you know whether I meet or fall short of my weekly goals. I'll also give you tips and suggest resources to help you stay motivated. You're sure to find that making even a little time to be fit will help you have more energy and be in a better mood to check off all of the 101 things on your December to do list.
So what are you waiting for?
Here are my personal goals for the month of December:
Aerobic activity: At least 5 hours of any combo of walking, running, jumping rope or dancing each week. I will also try my best to dance or take a fitness class (like spinning or tap or zumba or yoga) once a week.
Anaerobic activity: At least 2 or 3 sets of 5 upper body exercises and 5 lower body exercises twice a week AND abdominal exercises for 10 minutes at least twice a week.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
President's Challenge (it's not just for kids!)
What are your December fitness and activity goals? Please share them below. You can also share one of your favorite motivating resources. Be sure to Tweet (or post on Facebook) your progress with me throughout the month. I look forward to 'Doing It with You' in December!
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